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Chapters 5, 6 Opera
Opera Overview Beginnings –Late 16th C Italy –Camerata’s ideas for opera fr/ Greek tragedies –v/ popular v/ quickly Aristocracy—immediately Gen’l pop—by mid-17C
Opera Overview Literature story poetry libretto Music vocal instrumental dance Visual Art sets scenery costumes acting Baroque culture likes to combine ideas, elements, etc. So… = Opera!
Opera Text is VIMP; it tells the story. Th/f, Homophony is IN Polyphony is OUT
Opera 4 types of opera music: Aria MELODY MIMP Plot stops Reflects on state of events or singer’s emotions Orchestra accomp Complete piece of music Recitative TEXT MIMP Plot moves forward Tells story Basso continuo accomp Usually transitions to an aria or ensemble Ensemble 2-4 main characters sing often portrays contrasting moods simultaneously Overture orchestra should set mood often includes opera’s melodies
Monteverdi Music must portray intense emotions. Orchestral effects intensify mood.
Chapters 7, 8 Monteverdi, L’Orfeo Purcell, Dido and Aeneas
Overview Monteverdi Tu sé morta from L’Orfeo operatic recitative I= –basso continuo accomp text expression of mournful mood: word painting dark tone color slow tempo
Purcell MIMP 17 th C English composer Dido and Aeneas only opera
Dido’s Lament study guide Study resources: PowerPoint slides Connect Kamien Kamien listening guide in text Study guide on next 4 slides
Dido’s Lament study guide 1.Dido’s Lament opens with a recitative. –It uses just two instruments. What are they? Chording instrument: _____________ Bass: ___________ –The term used for this accompaniment: ___________. 2.The aria opens with and features a ground bass. What is a ground bass? (see chapter and/or glossary) You are responsible to hear and recognize the ground bass. 3.Explain how the ground bass unifies the aria.
Dido’s Lament study guide 4.Text expression: 17 th C listeners associated certain melodies or melodic patterns with specific emotions or moods. Two commonly used patterns express the text of Dido’s Lament: –A chromatically descending melody portrays grief or sorrow (and Baroque era listeners understood that). It happens that Dido’s ground bass IS a chromatically descending melody. Th/f its 11 repetitions powerfully express the sorrowful text. –The “sighing” gesture, a pattern of 2 or 3 tones that descend by step, portray sadness or a dejected spirit. The gesture, which sounds like a hopeless sigh, is everywhere in Dido—in both the singer’s line and orchestra accomp. or 2 sighing gesture examples
Using ConnectKamien: Here are 2 examples of the sighing gesture: 01:04 01:06voice 01:34 01:37violins The strings play the sighing gesture many times. Cite 1 example between 02:11 and 02:52. 02:?? 02:?? What is the singer’s text during this excerpt? Cite 2 examples between 03:01 and the piece’s end. 03:?? 03:?? 04:?? 04:?? Dido’s Lament study guide
Review Purcell Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas operatic aria (w/ recitative opening) I= –orchestra accomp –ground bass unifies –text expression of mournful mood: slow tempo minor key descending chromatic bass line “sighing” gesture
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